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Issue 4, 2011
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Principles and patterns in the interaction between mono-heme cytochrome c and its partners in electron transfer processes

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Abstract

Cytochromes c are very widespread proteins that play key roles in the electron transfer events associated to a wide variety of physiological redox processes. The function of cytochromesc is, at the broad level, to interact with different partners in order to allow electrons to flow from one protein to another. Here, we focused our attention on the protein-protein interactions that involve mono-heme cytochrome c domains in order to identify possible general vs. specific patterns of intermolecular interactions at the structural level. We observed that a number of physico-chemical properties are statistically different in transient vs. permanent and fused complexes. These include the extent of the protein interface area, the amino acid composition and the packing density at the interface. The understanding of the features of transient redox complexes is of particular importance because of the difficulty of obtaining co-crystals that preserve the physiologically relevant configuration. In addition, we identified three different structural modes of interaction that cover all the structurally characterized cytochrome c interactions except one. The mode of interaction does not correlate with the nature of the complex (transient, permanent, fused). Regardless of the mode of interaction, the distance between the heme iron and the partner metal center or organic cofactor center of mass is typically around 19–20 Å for complexes permitting direct electron transfer between the two sites.

Graphical abstract: Principles and patterns in the interaction between mono-heme cytochrome c and its partners in electron transfer processes

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Cytochromes
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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Dec 2010, accepted on 15 Feb 2011 and first published on 01 Mar 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00108B
Citation: Metallomics, 2011,3, 354-362
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    Principles and patterns in the interaction between mono-heme cytochrome c and its partners in electron transfer processes

    I. Bertini, G. Cavallaro and A. Rosato, Metallomics, 2011, 3, 354
    DOI: 10.1039/C0MT00108B

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